It’s again the time of the year that Goshen College offers an online resource to help believers make time and space in their hearts and minds to reflect during the season of Lent.
Beginning March 1 (Ash Wednesday) and culminating on April 16 (Easter), Goshen College students, faculty and staff will provide weekday reflections based on the upcoming Sunday’s lectionary Scripture passages, available online at www.goshen.edu/devotions, or by subscribing to the daily email. Many writers will reflect on the theme: “Restore us, O God!” taken from Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada worship resources.
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The texts for this season highlight stories that call us to conversion and new life (Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, and Lazarus). In studying and reflecting on these texts, the writing team noticed the overwhelming call to be restored, often in the midst of the depths of humanity as we experience our thirst, hunger, breath, sight, temptation but turn to wondering and hoping.
Our world is filled with many voices and distractions that call us away from God—violence and fear, consumerism and materialism, hectic schedules and constant busyness, to name just a few. As Christians, we are not immune to the side effects of living in this environment and can feel afraid, filled both with doubt and an inner restlessness.
So what is an antidote to this perpetual bombardment? Enter the season of Lent. Lent is a 40-day period in the Christian calendar that provides a chance to step back and create space, offering opportunities for reflection. It is a time to repent, to renew our commitment to God’s ways and to empty ourselves of what distracts us from hearing God’s voice. Lent is often referred to as a wilderness, a space where the familiar is stripped away and we face our brokenness. Jesus began his ministry alone in the wilderness, where he faced temptation, fasted and prayed.
The devotions will reflect honestly on the Scriptures and offer words of assurances of faith. The spiritual offerings will include poetry, personal stories, reflections and prayers, all intended to more closely examine the call to change and follow Christ.
Since 2001, Goshen College annually celebrates special seasons of the church calendar, particularly Advent and Lent, with online devotions.